Posted on Fri Feb 14th, 2020 @ 4:22pm by Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1 & Lieutenant Commander Niamh O'Donoghue V1 & Lieutenant Dante Rawlins V1 & Lieutenant JG Morgan Lindsay V1 & Ensign Thyra Sh'shraaqir V1 & Ensign Ethan Edwards & Lieutenant JG Alexander McConnell
Short Trek: Dark Discoveries
Location: USS Defiant, Deep Space
Timeline: MD 1
Charlotte Reynolds looked at the viewscreen a bit puzzled. The object they'd detected on sensors had been projected for a bit now and it wasn't making any more sense to her. Her incredulity came out in her tone. "A...black dwarf star?"
Alexander's excitement was almost palpable. To bare witness to a dark dwarf star was almost never experienced by members of starfleet. Their signatures where significantly harder to pinpoint and the fact they emitted UV radiation made them even more challenging telescopes to detect. He looked at the stellar object displayed on the view screen for a moment in awe before turning his attention back to his display. "Yes ma'am, measuring a diameter of 49,395km. I'm detecting fluctuating gravity at seemingly random points across the stars corona" the view screen zoomed in on the stars surface making the flickering purple ring across the diameter produced by the UV waves look a large tsunami crowning a writhing sea of deep black and faded purple.
"Unlike regular dwarf stars, dark dwarf stars behave more like red giants like Sol. The difference is that dark dwarf stars emit UV instead of hydrogen" the lieutenant explained animatedly. He typed away at his screen for a moment, "I can convert the UV waves into sound if you'd like, it can be quite pleasant apparently". He offered triggering the process preemptively. Even if the Captain said no the Science Department would benefit from a copy.
The Captain replied cheerfully. "By all means, Lieutenant. I've never heard a black star before."
Dante had been staring at the very interesting view on the screen before him and hadn't been paying much attention to what was being discussed. The chaotic surface, dark, and foreboding, with a subtle deep purple hue, was almost mesmerizing. When the speakers around the bridge came to life he actually jumped and felt a shiver run down his spine as goosebumps spread all over his body.
"What the hell is that..." he said, listening to the haunting, eerie noises coming from the star. It sounded like millions of voices all screaming in tortured agony, overlapping, and resonating with each other in a distorted, horrifying way.
Reynolds recoiled instinctively when the sound flooded the room. Had she not known better, she would have genuinely believed that countless voices were screaming out, from somewhere deep in the void. Thankfully, she did no better. Her ears picked up on the subtlest hints that this was generated noise based on spiking and dipping frequencies. But...somehow even that realization didn't quell the panic welling in her from hearing it. Doing her best to keep her voice calm, she spoke up over the cacophony. "Mr. McConnell, can we mute that? Or at least make it quieter?"
Alexander nodded before returning the bridge to the ambience they'd all grown accustomed too. "Tha- that wasn't supposed to happen Captain, apologies" the scientist admitted, somewhat crestfallen. Even without the audio loop the screams were hard to mute in his mind. He forwarded his recording into an analytical program and hit run. He must have missed something in his initial wave of scans and began another sweep to see if he could determine the origin of the cocophany of horror. "We should have heard a hum intermixed with random series of high pitched pulses that would have represented the gravitational fluctuation I detected, like this" he said, filling the bridge with the sound of Sol, the star that sustained life for the members of the crew who called Earth home. After a moment he cut the audio feed, "permission to run a series of deeper scans, captain? I may have missed something on the basic sweep I'm running".
Morgan, who'd been doing a daily pass through the bridge, chuckled as his mind pushed back the sounds that had invaded it. "Well, that's why we science, I suppose. Especially when things aren't what we expect them to be. I do suggest running a spectrum comparison for sonics before listening to your new music," he recommended lightly.
Thyra was pushing buttons on her screen, listening through frequencies to see if she could pick up any signs of life out here. They could never know, "Well, that was something new. It's really incredible is it not?" She hoped to keep the speculations train going, or here some scientific truth from the science people here.
"Incredible is definitely one word you could use..." Dante replied, letting his voice trail away. Something told him this was going to be anything but a routine exploration, and that chill he'd experienced was still tingling up and down his spine.
Captain Reynolds pulled herself out of her stupor. "Sorry. Yes. Permission granted for the higher level scan, Lieutenant." She couldn't quite shake the noise from her mind, as she looked at bizarre star. The system was nothing if not uncomfortable. "Also, while you're at it, look for any planetary structures, stations, any signs of a pre-existing civilization."
Edwards stepped off the TL, and starred at the viewscreen. "Captain. I heard we stumbled upon a black dwarf star." He paused as he looked at the viewscreen. "Have you discovered any habitable planets in the system?"
The Captain turned to see the young science officer exiting the turbolift. "Your timing is impeccable. I gave that order about a second before you exited the turbolift. We're running a scan of the system now. Speaking of which, any luck?"
"6 planets of various states. Given the suns unique emissions the habitual zone is somewhat closer than the ones we usually come across. There's a moon orbiting the first planet from the sun that seems to have a manufactured subterranean network. I'd say there's a base thereof some kind, I can't determine cultural origin at this point though" Alexander replied.
"Got it plotted, Captain, but I'm gonna have to do some manual maneuvering," Dante said, still looking at his instruments. "The stars unusual outputs are causing some problems with the computer tracking systems."
Ethan looked at Alexander. "Can you tell if any of the planets are inhabited?"
"It's hard to tell whilst the Defiant is adjusting to the intense UV output until we get closer. I don't think so though, I'm not detecting any technology beyond the moon" Alexander replied.
"The moon it is then," the Captain replied from her position in the center. "Helm, set a course for it. Take us there nice and slow. We'll want time to let the sensors adjust."
"Aye, Captain, moving in," Dante replied and began to take the ship towards the indicated moon. He stayed below one-quarter impulse, relying mostly on visual tracking to ensure a safe approach. "ETA to the moon, approximately thirty-seven minutes at this speed, ma'am," he called out. "If you need more time for the sensors I can slow us even more."
Ethan looked at the viewscreen. "An underground community, possibly? Makes sense, the radiation from that dwarf star is probably deadly over a long term. Imagine, a civilization living underground.....in a sealed environment...never seeing the sky...only breathing recycled air."
“Minus some portholes, that kinda sounds like us,” Charlotte replied with a hint of a laugh in her tone. “It’s more likely to be an outpost though. Given the lack of surface structures, the size of the moon, and the proximity to the star, my money is on research instillation.” She turned toward the Doctor. “Hey doc, will it be safe enough for us to go down there? We’ll need EV suits obviously.”
"EV suits should be fine. Once on, or I guess under, the surface, I'll get some scans and give you a better timetable that limits exposure, if need be," Morgan stated, his mind turning to the field kit he'd want to bring along.
The Captain nodded. "Then I'd suggest you get prepared. Crewman Carter will fly the away team down once we're in orbit."